Asperger’s syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder. In the past, medical practitioners classified it as a separate disorder from autism. However, as of 2013, the diagnosis is no longer given on its own. Instead, symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome are considered to be one way that autism spectrum disorder presents.
Most individuals consider it to be on the high-functioning end of the spectrum. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition includes social pragmatic communication disorder.
This may be used as a replacement diagnosis for Asperger’s syndrome. It is important to note that individuals with Asperger’s syndrome can live fully functional, independent lives.
Treatment for Asperger’s syndrome often includes several forms of therapy. For instance, many patients will receive cognitive behavioral therapy for Asperger’s syndrome. Communication skills training for Asperger’s syndrome is another common treatment. Some individuals may need medication for anxiety.
Signs and Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome
In some cases, supplements for Asperger’s syndrome can be helpful. Certain individuals can also benefit from educational support for Asperger’s syndrome. Of course, the best Asperger’s syndrome treatment depends on the symptoms.
1. Must Follow Crucial Routines
Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome often depend on routine. They may become distressed if they are unable to follow their usual routines.
Interrupting or suddenly changing it may cause them to have trouble adjusting. It is better to let an Asperger’s syndrome patient know in advance that a routine will be interrupted. They can mentally prepare themselves this way.
One big problem with interrupting routines is that it leads to a sense of instability. Routine allows individuals with this condition to feel grounded and secure in their surroundings.
Many Asperger’s syndrome patients report that they feel much more relaxed when they have structure in their lives. Most individuals have routines, such as getting a morning coffee. They can feel distressed if their routine is interrupted.
However, it is not to the same extent as individuals with Asperger’s syndrome. Once individuals understand that these routines matter to an Asperger’s syndrome patient’s mental well-being, it is easier to respect and accommodate them.
2. Motor Development Delays
Motor development delays may occur in children with Asperger’s syndrome. Studies show that about eighty-seven percent of individuals with an autism spectrum disorder, such as Asperger’s syndrome, have some difficulty with their motor skills.
These difficulties can range from trouble with handwriting to an atypical way of walking. Even though these issues appear with most cases of Asperger’s syndrome, they are not considered a core diagnostic sign of autism spectrum disorders like it.
This is because other neurodivergent conditions also have motor development delays, including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The delays in motor development can vary widely from person to person. Individuals may have trouble with fine motor control or have problems with their overall motor skills.
This may lead to uncoordinated walking. Low muscle tone also occurs in some individuals with Asperger’s syndrome, causing delays in reaching certain motor development milestones. Sometimes the issues are present from infancy.
However, for others, they may not become apparent until later in childhood. Infants with Asperger’s syndrome tend to make fewer arm movements than those who do not have the condition.
3. Formal or Stiff Speech
Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome may have formal or stiff speech when they talk. When Asperger’s syndrome was diagnosed as its own issue, the main criteria was that a patient had autistic traits without the same speech delays.
However, even if an Asperger’s syndrome patient reaches the same speech milestones as a neurotypical child, they may have trouble speaking informally. They may use vocabulary that is too formal or advanced for a casual conversation. This may be off-putting to individuals who talk to them.
It is important to note that formal speech is not intentional. An individual with Asperger’s syndrome may talk in great detail about topics that interest them. They may also struggle to relate to others in regular conversation.
The stiff speech may be a result of a struggle to relay ideas in words. Asperger’s syndrome patients will not always think in verbal language.
They may instead process things through a combination of visuals and emotions. This can be hard to ‘translate’ into spoken language, which can make communication difficult.
4. Misses Social Cues, Jokes, And Sarcasm
An individual with symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome will often miss social cues, jokes, and sarcasm. They may have trouble interpreting a person’s tone and take a joke too seriously.
Similar to how it is sometimes challenging to understand tone through text on the internet, it can be difficult for Asperger’s syndrome patients to understand tone in everyday conversation. Studies have been done in an attempt to explain why individuals with Asperger’s syndrome have more trouble with understanding tone than the average person.
One study showed that Asperger’s syndrome patients do not follow the eye movements of others in a conversation to focus attention. This means that they may not be sure where another person is looking when they are conversing.
Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome also do not spend much time watching people’s faces in conversation. This may contribute to the struggles to follow social cues. Facial expression plays a big part in telling jokes and cueing other people.
Often, individuals do not realize precisely how much their body language and facial expression contributes to their speech. It is hard for Asperger’s syndrome patients to pick up social information based on their surroundings.
5. Proximity Problems
Asperger’s syndrome patients may struggle to understand proximity. In social situations, there is generally an appropriate distance to stand from other individuals. This distance does not come naturally to those with Asperger’s syndrome.
They may learn from observing the ways that others interact. However, their instinct may be to stand much closer to other people than would usually be permitted.
They may also stand too far away from others when engaged in casual conversation, which might be caused by anxiety about standing too close. Most individuals with Asperger’s syndrome will be happy to move away when asked.
It can be distressing to be unsure of how to act in a social situation, and Asperger’s syndrome patients may not have any idea that they have reacted inappropriately to a certain situation.